News posts that reference press.

Ellis Marsalis Center for Music opens in Musicians' Village

Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Keith Spera
The Times-Picayune

On Wednesday afternoon, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis kicked the proverbial tires at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, the new, multimillion-dollar arts, educational and community center in the upper 9th Ward’s Musicians’ Village.
Marsalis Center for Music
They jokingly checked under classroom desks for gum. They strode the dance studio’s wood floor. They demonstrated the 1.5-millisecond echo in the 150-capacity, acoustically engineered performance hall.

Had such a facility existed when he was a boy, Connick marveled, “I would have been here every day.”

The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, named for Branford’s father, the storied jazz pianist and educator, officially opens today with a private celebration.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu are expected to speak. Connick, the senior Marsalis, and Branford and several of his siblings are slated to perform.
Read more »

Branford Marsalis/Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: Financial Times

Author: Mike Hobart
Date: August 13, 2011

Haunting sax entwines with rhapsodic piano in this largely original repertoire

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has an equally full-bodied tone on this lovely studio recording with pianist Joey Calderazzo, but here the emphasis is more on melodic purity and the cadences of classical romance than urban grit.

Submitted by Courtney on August 15th, 2011 — 10:08am

Review: Saxophonist Branford Marsalis finds a finger-snapping groove with the Philadelphians

Publication: The Saratogian
Author: Judith White
Date: August 11, 2011

A nearly full moon smiled down on a large, enthusiastic Wednesday night audience for the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Up front was the amazing saxophonist Branford Marsalis, debuting his classical music talents here with the Philadelphians, and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, in a first-time SPAC performance.

I hope you were there: this was a truly original performance, new and different for this venue, and filled with energy and life. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 11th, 2011 — 04:32pm

Branford Marsalis and the Philadelphia Orchestra @ SPAC 8/10/11

Author: Joseph Dalton
Date: August 11, 2011

SARATOGA SPRINGS -  Whose presence — the soloist, the conductor or certain composers — most enlivened Wednesday’s concert of the Philadelphia Orchestra is hard to pinpoint.  But it was nearly impossible to walk out of the amphitheater at the end of the evening without a lively beat or a good tune in your pocket.

The headliner was saxophonist Branford Marsalis.  Better known for his roots in jazz, he performed beautifully in two brief and colorful concertos. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 11th, 2011 — 04:48pm

Claudia Acuña Gives a Chilean Classic a Jazz Infusion

Publication: World Music Blog
Author: Michal Shapiro
Date: August 5, 2011

Visit the World Music Blog to watch a video of Claudia performing live!

Although Claudia Acuña is a full fledged jazz singer, her repertoire still reflects her Chilean origins, and she presented several jazz settings of songs from its folk heritage.

“El Cigaritto” is by the iconic songwriter Victor Hara, whose work is almost synonymous with the protest songs of the Nuevo Cancion movement that arose in Chile in the 1970’s. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 10th, 2011 — 02:07pm

Newport Jazz 2011: Miguel Zenón's Puerto Rican Songbook, Live In Concert

Author: Patrick Jarenwattananon
Date: August 8, 2011

Lately, the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón has been listening to some of his parents’ favorite music. That is, he’s adapted a handful of classic popular songs from his native Puerto Rico for his jazz quartet. And on his forthcoming album Alma Adentro, he even contracted his friend Guillermo Klein to write backing arrangements for a 10-piece woodwind section. Lush and verdant — like the tropical isle which inspired them — the charts see a rare public performance at Newport’s central Quad Stage.

Visit to stream Miguel’s set!

Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 12:15pm

Jazz to classical – Branford Marsalis appears with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Publication: The Times Union
Author: Joseph Dalton
Date: August 7, 2011

“Close enough for jazz” is a fun, shorthand way of saying that something’s “good enough.”  Just don’t use the phrase in the presence of a serious jazz musician.

The expression certainly didn’t come up in conversation with saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who will be performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Wednesday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  But Marsalis did speak with surprising candor about the discipline and rigor involved in classical music. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 11:46am

CD: Marsalis and Calderazzo

Publication: Rifftides
Author: Doug Ramsey
Date: August 1, 2011

A dozen years of togetherness in Marsalis’s quartet have bred familiarity that allows the saxophonist and the pianist to flow through one another’s thoughts. In these duets, their interactions and reactions are as profound on the mirthful pieces as on the melancholy. Marsalis wrote three of the songs, Calderazzo four, Wayne Shorter and Johannes Brahms one apiece. The Brahms “Die Trauernde” is an art song, but then so are all the others. Influences as diverse as Mahler and Ron Carter may be apparent, but categories don’t apply here. Well, one category does; this is fine chamber music. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 11:18am

Jazz and Blues: Branford Marsalis + Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: TONE Audio
Writer: Jim Macnie
Date: May 2011

Seems like piano/sax duets offer lots of elbowroom. In the large, each participant has leeway when it comes to bending a melody or messing with a tempo. Indeed, it was an extended pas de deux from Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons that helped cement my love of jazz decades ago, and from the Steve Lacy/Mal Waldron exchanges to the Archie Shepp/Horace Parlan outings, I’ve been a fan of the keys and reeds setting ever since. Two new titles present their participants in a similar environment. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 8th, 2011 — 11:17am

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins The Mountaintop

Author: Demetria Mosley
Date: July 14, 2011

The new Broadway play The Mountaintop, starring Samuel L Jackson and Angela Basset, is set to open October 13th.  The anticipation for the show is quickly building due to’s announcement that composer and saxophonist Branford Marsalis is contributing original music to the production.

Branford Marsalis is a Grammy winning musician and has even been nominated for a Tony for the work he did in the play Fences. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on July 27th, 2011 — 08:25am